Executing Digital Transformation

True digital transformation goes beyond converting analogue to digital or products to services. Digital transformation requires more than incremental improvements in customer experience or even innovative business model. It is executed through more disruptive ways of combining new technologies with innovative business models, thus creating an exponentially greater value proposition than the existing goods and services together provide.

The execution of digital transformation has to thoroughly address Communication Services Provider’s (CSP) strategy, processes, culture and technology.

Because of the traditionally network centric strategy, the quality maximizing processes, risk minimizing corporate culture and technology silos, the CSPs are severely inhibited to crack the digital disruptor challenge.

A drastically new approach is called for the CSPs to succeed in the competition against the native Digital Service Providers and Over-The-Top players:

CSP’s strategy needs for transform technology centricity to customer centricity. CSPs need to expand their domain from telecommunication services only to adjacent industries with embedded telco services. And the walled garden approach has to be replaced by collaborative multi industry ecosystems with focus on value creation rather that sole ownership of the subscriber.

The approach for processes has to change from process orientation with focus on the governance and risk mitigation to outcome orientation with focus on early customer engagement and learning process. Launching new digital services takes the CSPs into uncharted business territories and hence the rigid and linear waterfall process has to be replaced by an agile and experimenting process with real customers. The emphasis should shift from telco grade five nines availability to Internet clock speed reducing the time to market from weeks to hours.

The technology strategy has to transform from stove piped monoliths to adaptive architecture and open standards with outside in integration strategy. The deployment model should maximize Software-as-a-Services based programmable systems in virtualized hardware environment. Furthermore, the deployments have to shift from complete overhauls to light weight overlays addressing the customer interfacing layers of the architecture. Finally, the migration approach should shift big bang data migrations to gradual commercial migration.

And finally the corporate culture has to change from focusing on controlling quality to empowering employees to innovate even at the risk of occasional failures. The appreciation of telco specific subject matter expertize has to be replaced by fostering the know-how in collaborative multi domain teams, even crowd sourcing. Because ne new business models cannot be finalized in the lab or excel spread sheet, the experimentation encouraging corporate culture including even commercial beta testing has to match the time to market of competing OTT and Internet players.

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